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Atsar Terver
Public Commentator
Port Harcourt
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As I weep for the death of these young students, I weep more for Nigeria, a 52 year old nation that has failed to offer protection to her children; they get killed like animals in the street. I weep for Nigeria, a giant who has been stripped bale of her glory and dignity by greedy and heartless men parading the corridors of power!

 

The Aluu-4: I Weep for Nigeria.

Nigerians woke up penultimate Friday to the rude shock of some, hearty, healthy, and promising young men, four of them, students of an Ivory Tower, the University of Port Harcourt, cut down in their prime, not by natural or accidental death, but by the cold, inhuman, savagery hands of some blood-thirsty demons in human skin!

 

In a bizarre episode, reminiscent of the hobbessian medieval era of animalistic jungle survival ethics, the cheering mob of deranged vampires armed with clubs, waste tyres, and petrol, visited the most cruel and abominable punishment upon these innocent souls (yes innocent because the law has not found them guilty of any alleged theft), dancing esoterically while recording the whole macabre show on video.

Their cries for mercy were derided and despised. Their anguish and pain was not regarded with the slightest dose of compassion. The crowd hailed the murderous antics of those beasts that clubbed and hung tyres upon their necks. One of them yelled, bring the keg, bring the keg, open the fuel and shortly after that, the four captives were engulfed in flames! As they struggled with the final dregs of pain, one of the voices in the crowd yelled: the yellow one doesnt want to dieDie!, Die! Die!

As I watched the video, I noticed that the cameraman deliberately avoided focusing the lens on those killers; he just concentrated on the gory sight of the four boys on the ground. This shows that the perpetrators of this evil knew exactly the gravity of the offense they were committing hence the avoidance of the camera to evade detection of their identities.

I do not even want to dwell on the alleged crime of the students because even if we assume that the four students were guilty of whatever offence they are alleged to have committed, the fact remains that no law places the duty of judgment or punishment for criminals in the hands of some vicious mob, amongst which we may find even worst criminals in their own rights. And for an offence like stealing, or cultism, whichever is the case, the law does not even recommend life imprisonment not to mention capital punishment.

The law provides that an accused should be given a fair opportunity to defend himself before the law. This opportunity was denied these helpless undergraduates and their blood was spilled to appease the gods of sadism which I perceive have their abode in Aluu.

That a community, whose proximity to the university campus could have been a source of blessing, choose rather to attract undue curses upon their soil is pitiable. Will a community that shows so much disdain for students produce graduates from among them? Will the blood of these innocent souls crying for vengeance not move the hand of God? Will the Almighty, the just one, harden His heart against their cry, and close his eyes against this evil? No! No!

This is not to in any way justify the unlawful conduct the Aluu community, but the people have lost faith in the judicial system. When criminals are apprehended and instead of the law keeping them where they belong, they are released as free men to unleash more terror on the people, how would the people develop the confidence to hand over criminals they apprehend to the law enforcement agents? When the Police are wont to turn the tables and unleash terror on the accuser if the accused can pay the price, how do the people build trust in the system? When election riggers are declared winners and corrupt people are awarded national honours, ex-convicts are national leaders of the ruling Party, why would the people still believe in the system?

In a mob action, it is very difficult to identify who actually participated in the killing and who was just a spectator. Often when the Nigerian Police arrive the scene of a crime, very often after the real criminals have dispersed, they pick up any innocent person they can see around. Therefore even though the Police have arrested some suspects, one is not sure if it is the right suspects that were picked up. The police must do a diligent investigation to ensure that only those who are culpable are brought to book because if in the end the wrong people are punished, that would be no different from the jungle justice meted to the four students.

The outrage that has greeted this bestial act from all the corners of the country goes to show that on the general, Nigerians are Good people, but our nation has lost its greatness. The greatness of a nation is a function of the respect the people and the leadership accord to the citizens of that country. In Nigeria human life has been made very cheap by a sinister conspiracy between militant groups and a government that cares less. We see bombs explode in churches every other week, public places go to blazes, and we see human beings burning alive every now and then with the government looking on almost with some queer nostalgia and doing nothing. Why would life not be cheap?

As I weep for the death of these young students, I weep more for Nigeria, a 52 year old nation that has failed to offer protection to her children; they get killed like animals in the street. I weep for Nigeria, a giant who has been stripped bale of her glory and dignity by greedy and heartless men parading the corridors of power!.

 

 


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